Synthetic hybrid vinyl gloves can be an excellent solution for the expected surge in exam-glove need due to arrive with COVID-19 vaccinations.
While the world has waited impatiently for a coronavirus vaccine, and we have all watched and worried and tried to guess who would get the first round of doses, AMMEX has remained confident that the demand for exam-grade disposable gloves will take off soon.
While the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is not requiring disposable gloves to deliver vaccinations, healthcare professionals will find it more practical to change gloves after every patient instead of washing hands dozens if not hundreds of times per day.
In the U.S. on Dec. 11, the FDA issued the first emergency use authorization of Pfizer’s vaccine. On Dec. 14, distribution of the vaccine began.
The federal government, via Operation Warp Speed, has been working since the pandemic started to develop one or more vaccines as quickly as possible. Although the CDC has not had a direct role in creating the vaccines, the agency has partnered with health departments to develop plans for when a vaccine is available.
Expect relief to start slowly
There will of course be only a limited supply of the vaccine at first as distribution ramps up. The CDC recommended that front-line healthcare personnel and long-term care facility residents be offered vaccinations in the initial phase of the program.
The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) recently published a report calling for increased transparency in COVID-19 vaccine and treatment development and meeting states’ needs for scarce medical supplies. According to the report, most states said they were largely able to fulfill requests for personal protective equipment from organizations and entities within their states. At the same time, certain items, especially nitrile gloves, remain scarce.
Because the administration was slow to take action amid a mounting shortage of medical gloves, experts say, there has been a scramble to stockpile crucial exam-grade personal protective equipment. The Department of Health and Human Services estimates current demand to be at 8.7 billion a month, or 104 billion gloves per year.
About 900 million tons of nitrile butadiene rubber (NBR) are produced globally. But output needs to be 1.5 billion tons to meet the current demand for nitrile gloves, according to industry estimates.
This is where vinyl steps in
The outlook for nitrile (and latex) gloves in early 2021 is about as bleak as it has been in 2020. There simply are not enough to go around, and that shortage is unlikely to be alleviated by the time that vaccinations ramp up in the spring and summer.
Fortunately, vinyl gloves—especially synthetic hybrids—are a great substitute for medical needs.
Stretch Synthetic Blue Vinyl Exam Gloves from AMMEX mimic the feel of nitrile in durable, form-fitting, flexible examination gloves. They can help reduce hand strain while also providing a high degree of tactile sensitivity. With excellent barrier protection against contaminants and pathogens, they are a great choice for anyone who works in healthcare.
Stretch Synthetic Clear Vinyl Exam Gloves are not only strong performers in non-sterile medical uses, but they also deliver real value to help stretch your budget further. Considering the number of gloves that will be needed to distribute vaccinations, vinyl is a great buy. It offers reliable barrier protection against bodily fluids, bloodborne pathogens, and other contaminants. These gloves are popular for elder care and childcare needs.
Clear Vinyl Exam Gloves are an excellent value for healthcare professionals, home users, and any task that requires frequent glove changes. They deliver dependable lightweight, latex-free barrier protection against pathogens and contaminants and offer good sensitivity in the palm and fingertips.
The demand is out there
Global demand for medical-grade exam gloves may reach 560 billion gloves over the next 12 months, but total production is estimated to fall short by about 260 billion units, according to the group purchasing organization Vizient. The annualized utilization rate of exam gloves across Vizient’s membership, which represents 50% of the U.S. acute care market, jumped about 22% from the first half of 2019 to the same period in 2020.
Prices have already increased between 25% and 130% across six of Vizient’s suppliers in the first round of price hikes. A second price increase across the same suppliers ranged from 13% to 210%.
Clearly, synthetic vinyl gloves are a great product to have on hand for 2021.